BC Transit to launch on-demand transit option in Kelowna, B.C.

April 19, 2024
This is BC Transit's first approach to implementing digital on-demand services into its system.

BC Transit is providing its customers in Kelowna, B.C.’s Crawford neighborhood with a new on-demand transit service. With the new transit option, pickup times and locations are determined by passengers through a smartphone app (or by phone) – offering customers more direct trips, quicker commutes and shorter wait times.

Starting on April 28, BC Transit will offer a hybrid transit approach to best serve the Crawford area with a fixed-route service during peak hours and on-demand during all other times. Fixed-route service will be available on route 15 twice a day Monday through Friday.

“This new innovative service, which will improve mobility and sustainability in our community, is the first of its kind in the province and we are thrilled to launch it here in Kelowna," said Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas. "This proactive and cooperative initiative is yet another tool to bring us one step closer in achieving council’s priorities around transportation and climate and environment by offering more accessible, efficient and climate friendly transportation options and linking communities to larger transit hubs by providing a service that meets the demands of our residents.”

Benefits of this modern transit service include:

  • Flexible transit service 
  • Easy booking system 
  • Shorter wait and travel times
  • Real-time bus tracking
  • Better access to areas within the neighborhood that had limited transit service
  • Increased service during off-peak times, particularly on weekends
  • Access to a more sustainable form of transportation

BC Transit and the city of Kelowna have partnered with TransitTech provider, Via Transportation and Transdev, to offer this efficient type of transit service in the Crawford neighborhood. 

“BC Transit’s decision to bring on-demand transportation to Kelowna unlocks an innovative, convenient way for this vibrant community to move – while also supporting the city’s ambitions to shape a more sustainable, equitable future for its citizens," said Via Transportation's Canada Country Manager Rob Bryans. "As the TransitTech provider, Via is thrilled to be part of this journey and we look forward to seeing this program’s impacts and reach grow over time.”

This is the first digital on-demand service for BC Transit and if successful the service could expand to other locations and communities around the province.